China Is Racing to Electrify Its Future
The country wants electric vehicles to make up 40 percent of new cars sold by 2030
A couple of years ago, simple electric vehicle charging points popped up seemingly overnight around a village near the Ming Tombs, a collection of imperial resting places dating back half a millennium. The village on Beijing’s rural outskirts, home to fewer than 900 people and with little more than fields, orchards, and a few rural restaurants, hardly looks like a center of China’s EV future, but it forms one small, crucial part of an ambitious strategy.
China has set a goal of having 40 percent of the vehicles sold in the country be EVs by 2030, which means a lot more vehicles will need to be charged. By 2025, the government aims to have in place charging infrastructure to meet the needs of more than 20 million cars. Right now, of China’s 810,000 public charging points, more than 70 percent are in heavily populated coastal areas, such as Guangdong and Shanghai. But that’s starting to change. Guidelines issued in January by the National Development and Reform Commission and several other agencies call for bringing charging stations to all counties and villages as part of the government’s “rural revitalization” effort.
The electrification project forms a key part of China’s plan to become carbon neutral by 2060, a signature initiative of President Xi Jinping that has the potential added benefit of reducing dependence on oil and gas imports.
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